Jazz (2001)
7.9/10
54
1 user 1 critic

The True Welcome: 1929-1934 

In 1929 as the Great Depression begins, New York is now America's jazz capital. On Broadway, Louis Armstrong revolutionizes the art of American popular song. In Harlem, Chick Webb pioneers ... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Burns
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Louis Armstrong ... Himself
Vernel Bagneris ... (voice)
Sidney Bechet Sidney Bechet ... Himself
Bix Beiderbecke ... Himself
Buddy Bolden Buddy Bolden ... Himself
Philip Bosco ... (voice)
Tom Bower ... (voice)
Avery Brooks ... (voice)
Hodding Carter III Hodding Carter III ... (voice)
Harry Connick Jr. ... (voice)
Kevin Conway ... (voice)
Keith David ... Narrator (voice)
Ann Duquesnay Ann Duquesnay ... (voice)
Charles Durning ... (voice)
Duke Ellington ... Himself
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Storyline

In 1929 as the Great Depression begins, New York is now America's jazz capital. On Broadway, Louis Armstrong revolutionizes the art of American popular song. In Harlem, Chick Webb pioneers his own big-band sound and in the city's clubs, pianists Fats Waller and Art Tatum dazzle audiences. But it is Duke Ellington who takes jazz "beyond category," composing hit tunes that has critics comparing him to Stravinsky. Written by Anonymous

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Details

Release Date:

15 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films, WETA See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
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User Reviews

 
Another excellent installment of the Ken Burns series.
24 February 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This episode begins with a long description of just how awful the Depression was as well as its impact on music sales. Despite this, the rest of the film is mostly upbeat in talking about the continued success and acceptance of jazz by mainstream America as well as in Europe. The only negatives were some of the musicians who died young or self-destructed in this episode, such as King Bolden (died penniless and insane), Jellyroll's personality which ended his career as well as Bechet no longer finding much of an audience. In their place were Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington (who Burns goes NUTS for throughout the series) and the emergence of newer talent such as Art Tatum and Benny Goodman--who, for the first time, collaborated with a black man to do the arrangements for his orchestra. Some of the increased popularity of the genre was attributed to a white man, John Hammond, who seemed to work very hard to draw attention to all the great artists regardless of race.

Just like the other episodes, this one is well constructed, has great music and keeps your interest throughout. Well done and well worth seeing.


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